Ever since I saw The King’s Speech at the Toronto International Film Festival, I wondered how accurately the star, Colin Firth, portrayed the king’s stuttering. Were films and records available to give the actor guidance?
According to this article from the British Pathé Blog, there was! And it moved both the actor and director, Tom Hooper, to tears. It was from seeing King George VI suffering and struggling to speak his words as best as he could.
In my opinion, Lionel Logue, the royal speech therapist who is also the center of attention in The King’s Speech, did a fine job. As you watch the newsreel (click here!), note how the king soldiers on, standing up straight and keeping his composure until the end.
THAT’S success in my book.
As a fellow stutterer, I can’t help but feel it being cool to see someone so giant and famous have the exact same stuttering experiences as me (well, I never made any speeches in stadiums …yet). Note his eyes blinking during a block and there are a few times when his blocks are quite long. Us fellow stutterers know exactly what’s going through his mind.
“If the king can do it, then so can I” is a phrase I’ve heard from British stutterers who grew up listening to the king speaking on the radio.
Warning: There’s lots of loud static in some places throughout the newsreel.